Fennel-Brown Sugar Pork Ribs

Main Course

Recipe courtesy of Milk Street: The New Rules

Serves 4

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper 
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, ground, OR 1 tablespoon ground fennel
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic 
  • 6 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary, divided 
  • Two 2½- to 3-pound racks St. Louis­-style pork spareribs

Fennel-Brown Sugar Pork Ribs

Fennel-Brown Sugar Pork Ribs

Click image to enlarge


Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the middle position. Set a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons salt, 1 tablespoon black pepper, the sugar, ground fennel, pepper flakes, granulated garlic and 4 teaspoons of rosemary. Rub the mixture between your fingertips until well combined and the rosemary is fragrant. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over both sides of the racks of ribs, then rub it in. 

Place the ribs, meaty side up, on the wire rack on the baking sheet. Transfer to the oven, then pour 3 cups water into the baking sheet. Bake until a skewer inserted into the meat between the bones meets no resistance, 2½ to 3 hours. Transfer the rib racks to a cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes. Cut the ribs between the bones and transfer to a platter.


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I believe I'm really going to like this combo and will be getting some St. Louis style ribs today. My question is why let ribs rest for 20 minutes afterward? Now all you have is colder ribs to eat. There can't be any re-distribution of juices in rib meat that is only around 1/4" in depth. My thought is put the ribs on the table and cover with tin foil and get everyone seated at the table and enjoy!